A Path to Adoption of Ranked Ballots for the 2022 Election
RaBIT’s Response to the City of Toronto Clerk’s Report “The Impact of COVID-19 on 2022 Election Preparation Activities”
To read the full detailed response, click here.
The last time we sent out a newsletter was February 2020, and the world looked very different. We know that many in our community have faced significant challenges and loss during this difficult time and we want to thank all of you who have stepped up to provide support and solidarity to others in need.
A belated Happy New Year! We hope that 2020 has started well for you and yours.
As we mentioned in our last message, 2020 is going to be a huge year for RaBIT and we need your help to keep moving voting reform forward here in Toronto.
A few weeks ago, we told you about a meeting of Toronto City Council’s Special Committee on Governance. We told you that this meeting was an opportunity for councillors to direct city staff to write a report that would provide city council and Torontonians with all the information needed to make an informed decision on whether to switch to ranked ballots for the 2022 election.
When it came time to vote, however, there was a tie at the committee meeting, with Councillors Carroll and Perks voting in favour of the report and Councillors Crawford and Holyday voting against the report. Unfortunately, a tie means the motion is defeated.
While a setback, this vote is not the end of the road. That’s because the results of the committee’s deliberations must now be approved – or amended – by the entire City Council. This will happen at the next council meeting which is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26-27 November.
Toronto City Council's next meeting is scheduled for 26-27 November. At that meeting, the following motion will be presented:
City Council direct City Manager and the City Clerk to report to the Executive Committee by the end of Q2, 2020 on steps needed to conduct the 2022 election for Mayor and Councillors by ranked ballot, such report to include, but not be limited to:
- an update of previous reports focused on the use of ranked ballots by various municipalities, particularly in London, Ontario in 2018, as well as other comparable North American jurisdictions such as Minneapolis and San Francisco;
- public consultation and public education requirements of a successful transition to a ranked ballot system, including those contained in the Municipal Elections Act and associated MEA Regulations;
- technical aspects of transitioning to a ranked ballot system, such as compatible electronic tabulation technology and the technological solutions available to enable a cost effective implementation, such as renting technology from Elections Ontario;
- timelines and associated incremental costs required to implement a ranked ballot for the 2022 election.
This coming Friday (1 November) at 9.30am, the Special Committee on Governance will hold what will likely be its last meeting. Many of you will recall that in the summer, we asked you to help send this committee a message: that council must live up to its commitment to implement ranked ballots by 2022.
We were incredibly successful in sending that message. Almost 90% of all the email correspondence received by the committee was from supporters of ranked ballots asking the committee to move this issue forward (see page 8). Now, it looks like we need your help once again.
Just over 4 years ago, you made history. Today, we're asking you to do it again.
Back in 2015, it wasn’t even legal for municipalities in Ontario to use ranked ballots. But, by flooding the provincial government’s online consultation portal with supportive emails, supporters of voting reform like you pushed the government into changing the law. Because of that, three communities in Ontario have used, or soon will use, ranked ballots in their elections.
From now until 26 July, we have a similar opportunity here in Toronto.
Spring is finally in the air! Here at RaBIT HQ, we’re excited by the return of good weather, the important steps we’ve made towards our goal, and the opportunities that the coming months are bringing to push ranked ballots even closer to implementation. Keep reading for 3 important updates on our progress and how you can help to make voting better here in Toronto.